Regarding the recent Adur and Worthing survey on council tax, I see the councils are now engaged in hitting the poor, those unwaged and those struggling with families on low incomes, which I find totally immoral and unethical.
What we really are seeing is a process of ‘social cleansing’ of those in poverty and unwaged and low incomes in Adur.
Already we know housing benefit has risen in Adur with those on low incomes and in work, struggling to live. Secondly, we also view in our area that the housing cap of £650 a month for a one-bedroom flat is too low. We also have an acute housing shortage, with an added influx of wealthier, middle class professionals into the area for private rental adding to the problem.
Those unwaged in private accommodation are having to top up their rents with JSA, leaving them in even more debt and poverty.
Adur Council seeks on one hand to freeze council tax bills, as stated in the Herald some weeks ago, yet also seek to impose a charge on those in poverty by deception. For example, this survey uses the words ‘those on low income of working age’ and seek to weaken the deception effect by using a multiple choice survey. They also use the words ‘flexibility over the level of reduction in council tax bills’.
I find this cheap survey outrageous in its wording and format and quite clearly puts the burden of the national debt, caused by bankers and politicians, on the poorest in society at the local level. These councils should release the money they have in their banks accounts, gaining interest for a rainy day, or even cut the expenses of councillors and the pay of the senior staff.
What we are now seeing is a hidden and silent social cleansing of the area. People who have lived in these areas for years are being forced to move away and this also puts more of a burden on those on low income in work.
I was a speaker at the first UK national poverty hearing with Church Action on Poverty and Paul Goggins MP in 1995-6, in Westminster, and as I have always stated, poverty and exclusion is a battle of invisibility and a lack of power to controls one’s life.
Those in power need to help create a just and moral society to make the voices of the silent people visible towards a better life for the common good of all in society, not condemn those poor and in poverty to a life of misery and social cleansing by design.
These political local leaders should be ashamed of themselves for supporting such a survey and policy, and fall on their swords immediately.
A true leader walks with all, not the few, and does not pick on the weakest in society but seeks to protect and offer hope.
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